The fun and laughter of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic was wonderful. But a quiet and pensive mood has its devotees as well. A time to think about life and the world we live in. A time to appreciate the beauty of that world and those who have shared it with us. And enjoy Frank’s Walk.
So it was in reflective mood that we came once again to Frank’s Wood on Leith Hill.
Frank’s Wood is famous for its bluebells. But this year, the hot weather has pushed them over a little early. No matter. In fact, it rather suited the mood. For Bobby has had to cancel our European Train Trip this year on doctor’s advice. Gout rules at present. So, instead of disappearing from England again, he can enjoy The Darling Buds of May on his own doorstep.
The National Trust volunteers on Leith Hill have constructed a mile long trail though the wood now known as Frank’s Walk. There are steps, little bridges and hills. Less than an hour to stroll round and soak up the peace and tranquility.
Frank’s Wood is named after Frank Longhurst, A National Trust woodsman, and originates from 1949 when the oak trees were planted. It is said that he planted three acorns in each hole. One for the mice, one to fail and one to grow into an oak tree.
The walk is waymarked with pink topped posts and starts at the Landslip car park. See details further down. By the time you read this the bluebells will be over, but not the tranquility.
The Landslip Car Park
The Landslip Car Park near is aptly named. Numerous landslips have occurred, due to the geology of the area. The last in December 2000. Following days of heavy rain, a 400 metre length of hillside slipped, taking the road with it.
At the other end, the road simply crunched up like screwing up a sheet of paper. Seen below:
The road was closed for months. There were rumours that it would be closed for ever. Not helped by more minor slips. Since it is the main access to Leith Hill, and a through route for local residents, there was no question that it would have to be repaired at considerable cost. But only when the slippage had stabilised. Frank’s Walk and The National Trust had a difficult time. Many large trees had moved with the slip and become unstable, The woods were shut, but this did not stop adventure seekers. In the end, the crunched bit was stabilised with a gabion basket wall down the hillside. Basically; baskets of rocks buried into the slope. The other end was dug up and levelled. The following picture is as it is now. Notice the railing on the right. That is still the same one. And, of course, given the right/wrong conditions it could happen again.
Lighting a Candle to Diddley.
Diddley loved May. The floral extravaganza that Bobby created for her on Laurel Cottage. The wild flowers. Especially the gentle fronds of cow parsley waving in the breeze and, shortly, those wonderful moon daisies.
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